“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brenè Brown
My name is Malarie Edwards and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor. I work with clients across a range of specialties, but I am particularly experienced in helping clients with anxiety, identity development, intergenerational trauma, dating and intimate relationships, and most recently, perinatal mental healthcare. My practice is centered around serving adults ages 18-50 within BIPOC communities.
I believe in social justice and strengthening communities of color within the therapy space. As a cisgender, heterosexual, Black Woman from the inner city of Milwaukee, I have received therapy from clinicians who lacked cultural responsiveness and did not understand my nuanced, Black-lived experience. Those negative experiences in therapy often left me feeling invalidated and gaslighted. Over time, I realized that my experience was not unique to me, but was often experienced by other people of color. It took years for me to find therapeutic spaces that resonated with my identity and gave me room to do deeply emotional work that addressed many of my own adversities as a Black Woman. Now, I want to change that narrative for others in BIPOC communities. I actively work to dismantle stereotypes associated with how BIPOC individuals should appear in the world and in therapeutic spaces. I intentionally demolish implicit bias and stereotyping by ensuring I do not make assumptions about my clients based on how they identify themselves. As a counselor, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure the therapy I provide resonates with and validates my clients experiences.
Women, particularly BIPOC women, often experience healthcare and mental health related disparities before, during and after pregnancy. Not to mention, there are many factors connected to these experiences that may impact a woman’s overall mental health as they navigate through a very life changing experience. I am intentional about learning ways to hold space to support women who are experiencing perinatal mood disorders, such as: depression and anxiety related to fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood. Having worked with women who each have such a unique experience with embarking on motherhood, it is important that they feel validated and heard to promote mental wellness that encourages them to feel connected to their mothering experiences.
I believe accessibility is vital and part of anti-oppressive mental healthcare practices, and this also extends to the LGBTQ community. I consider myself a strong ally and intentionally work to advocate for the LGBTQ community to bring awareness to the issues it faces. I am committed to seeking more knowledge about this community on a daily basis through activism, literature, and personal experience.
In my practice, I approach therapy as a partnership, with the goal of improving clients’ wellbeing and overall quality of life. I believe the client is the true expert on their own life, and as the counselor, I am there to guide them to find insight in their past experiences. My philosophy supports empowering individuals to examine their lives in a way that is impactful for themselves, their families, and their communities. I promote introspection into the issues that clients feel are a barrier to their happiness, and I safely support them in examining those issues.
I approach counseling from a psychodynamic and client-centered perspective; focusing on my clients' individual life experiences and how these experiences have shaped who they are while also validating and celebrating their accomplishments, focusing on joy & resiliency to build a strong therapeutic bond with them. As a Black Woman, understanding the duality of managing pleasure, joy and pain is an experience that is all too real for me on a daily basis. We cannot just develop individual approaches to dealing with trauma, but also group and communal approaches are vital. It is important that I, as a therapist, create a welcoming safe space for my clients to express themselves, share their experiences free of judgement and for me to challenge them to be the best version of themselves.
Outside of therapy, I genuinely value self-care. The time and space I make in my life for self-care is intentional to ensure I am emotionally prepared to work with my clients. My spare time is rooted in self-care activities that promote mindfulness and relaxation. Music, cooking, coloring in coloring books, journaling, and exercise are most restorative for me. Also, ensuring I get restful sleep is the most significant way I advocate for myself daily. Beyond self-care, I am a huge film buff and often watch new films with my husband.